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Nvidia Shield Android TV Console Review

Today we take a look at the latest addition to Nvidia's Shield line of gaming devices. No mobility here, this new Shield is for the living room!

CPU Core Benchmarks

Basemark OS II

Basemark OS II is a cross-platform mobile device benchmarking tool that scores overall performance by looking at several different specs; System, Memory, Graphics and Web. For System performance, Basemark looks at single- and multi-core CPU speeds, math testing, and XML parsing performance. The Memory portion of the benchmark looks at the read/write speeds of the device’s internal storage using fixed and growing files of different sizes. Graphics scores a device’s ability to handle 2D/3D effects as different operations get applied. Lastly, Web looks at system performance during the manipulation of CSS 3D and HTML5 objects, including transformations and resizing. 

As we’ll see in the upcoming Geekbench 3 results, it seems like memory is the Nvidia Shield’s key deficiency. Probably a weakness due to a focus on graphics, we can see from the scoring that the Tegra X1-powered Shield relies heavily on its SoC, but with the machine's focus on gaming and video, we already know who Nvidia is trying to please.

Geekbench 3

Our second test is Primate Labs’ Geekbench. Also a cross-platform testing suite that covers Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS and Android, Geekbench produces two sets of results; one for single-core processing and the other for multi-core processing. The overall Geekbench Score for each of the two benchmarks is a product of three individual sub-tests that score on integer, floating point and memory testing.

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The single-core results for the Nvidia Shield are underwhelming, and if the year were 1992, I would probably care more. Being that we’re now in an era that bleeds multi-core computing, we should probably look to focus on multi-core results instead. I’m not saying that there’s nothing important about the single-core testing since it does emphasize the importance of cache sizing and other supporting tech, but in the end we want to see the processor shine.

In the multi-core case, the Shield and it’s Tegra X1 SoC do shine, especially in the integer testing. For floating point calculations, the Shield ekes out ahead of the iPad Air 2, but falls behind in the memory/storage testing.